Tag Archives: Andrew Cyrille

Jazzflits review by Herman te Loo

CF 277ERIC REVIS – City Of Asylum (CF 277)
In april van dit jaar (JF 196) besprak ik de cd ‘Parallax’ van bas-sist Eric Revis. Een van de conclusies was toen dat hij zich somsin veelzijdigheid dreigde te verliezen, en blijkbaar heeft hij datin zijn oren geknoopt. De muziek op zijn nieuwste album, ‘CityOf Asylum’, blinkt namelijk uit in een sterk programma, uitge-voerd door een subliem pianotrio. Aan het klavier vinden we KrisDavis, van wie ik onlangs ook al het verfrissende album‘Capricorn Climber’ besprak – eveneens uitgegeven door hetPortugese label Clean Feed. De Canadese pianiste heeft haareigen stem bepaald tegen een achtergrond van dwarse pianis-tiek, waarin Thelonious Monk en Paul Bley belangrijke inspiratie-bronnen vormen. Het improviseren vanuit melodische cellen, zotyperend voor de laatste, is sterk te horen in het openingsstuk,‘Vadim’. Melodisch improviseren is ook een pijler van het werkvan Monk, en diens ‘Gallop’s gallop’ wordt vanuit dat uitgangs-punt benaderd. Geen simpele imitatie van de stijl van de com-ponist, maar vanuit je eigen stijl doorwerken aan een thema,dat maakt pas echt indruk. Dat Revis een goede hand heeft inde samenstelling van zijn team, had ik bij de bespreking van‘Parallax’ ook al opgemerkt. De keuze voor Andrew Cyrille alsdrummer is opnieuw perfect. De inmiddels 73-jarige slagwerkeropereert vanuit de (Afrikaans beïnvloede) traditie van het melo-dische drummen, die vanuit Max Roach naar Ed Blackwell enSunny Murray loopt. De omfloerste trommels in het titelstuklaten horen waartoe deze grootmeester in staat is. De hele plaatlang is hij de subtiele onderstreper van het muzikale discoursdat bij voortduring helder en transparant blijft. En dan Reviszelf: hij levert loepzuiver strijkwerk dat tot pure ontroering kanleiden, zoals in het thema van ‘Harry Partch laments the dyingof the moon… and then laughs’ of het ingetogen gespeelde‘Prayer’ van Keith Jarrett, dat misschien wel het hoogtepunt isop een cd die toch al geen zwakke momenten kent.

Step Tempest review by Richard B. Kamins

CF 277Eric Revis – City of Asylum (CF 277)
Bassist Eric Revis is one of the busiest musicians in the world.  As I write this (7/08/13), he’s on tour in Europe with both the Branford Marsalis Quartet and the Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet. He’s also a charter member of the Tarbaby trio with Orrin Evans and Nasheet Waits making him a charter member of the LIKEMIND Collective as well (Part 1 is here).

“City of Asylum” (Clean Feed Records) share its name with a Community Arts Organization in Pittsburgh, PA (www.cityofasylumpittsburgh.org/).  It’s Revis’s 4th CD as a leader and features drum master Andrew Cyrille (born 1939) and the impressive young pianist Kris Davis.  The bassist brought the musicians together and they created the program on this CD.  Composed of 7 group improvisations and one piece each from Thelonious Monk (“Gallop’s Gallop”), Keith Jarrett (“Prayer”), and Revis’s “Question”, the music is alive with interaction, possibilities, ideas and quite far from cliche.  The bassist has a “large” tone that blends well with Mr. Cyrille’s fluid percussion.  Ms. Davis is one of the stronger improvisers in modern music, her ability to move in and out of the flow of the music, her striking choice of chords and melodic phrases, her percussive attack, all keep the listener on the edge of his seat (physically and mentally).  There is nothing “standard” about her approach (you can say the same about  Messrs. Cyrille and Revis as well) so these pieces feel “alive”.  There are tens of thousands of covers of Monk tunes but few with the animation that this Trio imbues the song with.  Mr. Cyrille creates a wall of percussion while the bassist, more often than not, plays counterpoint.  The give-and-take of the bass and drums in the opening moments of “For Bill” is a fine example of how both musicians set up the dialogue and lay the table for Ms. Davis. She reacts to as well as acts on what her partners are creating. This piece is so quiet, at times, one must lean into the speakers, yet Mr. Cyrille never relinquishes the beat – in fact, he sets the level of intensity for the others.   This music is neither heartless nor humorless.  Witness “Harry Partch Laments the Dying of the Moon…and Then Laughs” – with Ms. Davis creating a “motor-rhythm” and Mr. Cyrille pushing an prodding beneath, the bassist creates a mysterious sound as he bows throughout the track.  Revis sets a furious pace on his unaccompanied opening to “Prayer” and, when the drummer enters, one can hear the musicians “conversing”.  Ms. Davis plays with slowing down the piece, creating a solo that rises with the bass in pursuit. The lovely melody line the pianist creates on “Traylor”is reminiscent of Paul Simon’s “An American Tune” – the drummer frames the piano beautifully with his cymbals and sparse use of the snare drum while the bassist creates a melody that moves in tandem with the piano.

“City of Asylum” is filled with with riches, a group conversation that is open and intimate. One can sense that as Kris Davis, Andrew Cyrille and Eric Revis continue to explore this collaboration, their interactions will become ever more expansive.  This CD is excellent yet one must see them live to complete the connection between musician, music and listener.

Mercury News review by Richard Scheinin

CF 277Eric Revis – City of Asylum (CF 277)
More than Branford Marsalis’s bassist, Revis has lately emerged as one of the most surprising and broad-minded of jazz musicians. This trio date with pianist Kris Davis and drummer Andrew Cyrille is stunning; it quickly/quietly sucks you into its free-jazz vortex.

Expresso review by João Santos

CF 277Eric Revis feat. Kris Davis and Andrew Cyrille – CITY OF ASYLUM (CF 277)
5 Estrelas (5/5)
A milagrosa data que reuniu Revis, Davis e Cyrille foi assim descrita pela pianista: “comunicávamos por e-mails e o Eric perguntou-me se estaria interessada em tocar com o Andrew; depois, registámos o álbum quando nos juntámos pela primeira vez”. O depoimento, sedutoramente facilitista, tomado por Ethan Iverson – líder nos Bad Plus, blogger em “Do The Math” e autor das notas de apresentação –, dissimula tanto o empenho e a disciplina por detrás da sessão quanto as casulosas virtudes dos estúdios de gravação. E refere-se vagamente ao estado de prontidão enquanto estratégia de sobrevivência para a vida numa metrópole. O que remete para este título que alude à Rede Internacional de Cidades de Refúgio – a ONG, derivada do Parlamento Internacional de Escritores que Rushdie, Banks e Soyinka fundaram em 1994, consagrada ao abrigo de escritores perseguidos. Em setembro de 2012, num trio com Orrin Evans e Nasheet Waits, Revis contactou com esta realidade ao participar no “Jazz Poetry Concert” da associação City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, sediada na Pensilvânia. É por isso apropriado que evoque aqui uma prece – ‘Prayer’, originalmente um dueto com Charlie Haden, em 1975 incluído em “Death and the Flower” – de um pianista desse Estado, aí educado por devotos da Igreja de Cristo, Cientista, que dá pelo nome de Keith Jarrett. Aliás, de certa forma, “City of Asylum” celebra a espiritualidade dos excêntricos, numa versão de ‘Gallop’s Gallop’, de um Monk sob a proteção de Nica de Koenigswarter, num tema dedicado ao ex-escravo Bill Traylor, espécie de Matisse sem a família Stein que pintava, octogenário e destituído, pelas ruas de Montgomery nos anos 40, ou numa lauda a Harry Partch, o mais desalinhado dos compositores norte-americanos. O que daí resulta é ao mesmo tempo terno, revoluto, martirizado (cita São Ciro), redimido e francamente memorável.

emusic review by Britt Robson

CF 277Eric Revis – City of Asylum (CF 277)
Distinctively wise and fearless in all the right places

Andrew Cyrille is a 72-year-old drummer who spent a decade stoking the fiery eruptions of avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor; he was arguably Taylor’s most ingenuous and empathetic foil. Kris Davis is a 30-something pianist with a reputation for mixing Taylor’s virtuosity with the elliptical phrasing and harmonic sophistication of Andrew Hill and the epigrammic wit of Thelonious Monk. The 46-year-old bassist Eric Revis presciently thought he and this pair could excel at collective improvisation, and City of Asylum is the consistently marvelous result, tapping into a shared intuitive wellspring that spans generations. It is distinctively wise and fearless in all the right places.

There are three covers — Monk’s obscure “Gallop’s Gallop,” Keith Jarrett’s “Prayer” and Revis’s own “Question” — but the nimble excitement and uncanny communication present in the seven improvisations are the real story on City of Asylum. “Vadim” is highlighted by the way Cyrille’s cymbals liquefy an otherwise-percussive song. “Egon” finds Revis in especially fine form, sawing and slapping his bow. On “Sot Avast,” Revis grinds out notes that recall thick ropes straining on a ship at sea before unearthing a low, growling riff topped off with a high-pitched accent, which Davis then eclipses with her own looming vamp. It is a forceful, unhesitating dynamically changeable song full of portent and beauty. The following improvisation, “For Bill Traylor,” is much different, an exercise in pace, patience and delicacy that is more resolute than gentle, with gorgeously rendered thickening and paring of the timbre. Revis, who released Parallax with Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark and Nasheet Waits late last year, now has two masterworks in six months time to his credit.